Booklist (March 15, 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 14))
Preschool-Grade 1. A family of frogs have no idea why there’s a pig sitting on a rock in their pond, saying “Ribbit!” “Does he think he’s a frog? Is he making fun of us?” they ask. News of the pig-frog travels fast, and soon a raccoon, a turtle, and a weasel have arrived to witness the curiosity for themselves. With no more than “Ribbits” of explanation from the pig, the animals seek the council of a wise beetle; but when the beetle, who can’t travel all that quickly, arrives back at the pond, the rock is empty. “Maybe,” he says, “the pig just wanted to make new friends.” Sure enough, our little pink pig has up and moved to a tree nearby, perched with the birds, and is practicing his “Tweet!” This is a sweet story about friendship, but it’s Bernatene’s illustrations of heavily textured and hugely expressive animals that are a joy. The frogs in particular charm, with their growing outrage expressed in skinny crossed arms and lolling eyeballs. Get ready to “Ribbit” at friendship-themed story hours.